LiveLab takes out silver US International Award

Indigenous War Memorial, ANZAC Square, Brisbane

LiveLab students are celebrating after their work was recognised in the US International Awards.

LiveLab is the commercial production arm of Griffith Film School, offering students year-round opportunities to gain real industry experience while they are studying.

The awards (formerly known as US International Film and Video Festival) have a background of more than 50 years within the industry of corporate videos and documentaries, affording winners recognition and prestige in the international film/video/digital production industry, worldwide publicity and accolades, and of course some good old bragging rights.

Taking out the silver award for the Student Documentary category was the Indigenous Memorial Making Of documentary.

It follows the creation of and meaning behind the Indigenous war memorial now located in ANZAC Square, which connects the cultural and military history of many Indigenous men and women who went to war.

The memorial itself features six Indigenous figures — representing World War I Navy, World War II Air Force, current male and female army veterans, a Torres Strait Islander dancer and an Aboriginal dancer who were guides working with the veterans, plus a journey stone representing the journey of the Indigenous men and women who went to war.

LiveLab Creative Director, Associate Professor Richard Fabb said everyone was completely blown away when they first saw the statue coming together.

“There was something incredibly powerful about this piece of art,” he said.

Creative Director of LiveLab, Associate Professor Richard Fabb

“It really spoke to people and was clearly capturing the untold stories of the Indigenous men and women who served, who historically weren’t recognised as Australians with many treated pretty shockingly, so this beautiful piece of work is a memorial to armed forces that’s unlike any memorials most of us have ever seen.”

The production process was much longer than the average LiveLab project, taking more than a year to complete, with not only current Griffith students involved, but alumni who were brought in as interns or on a paid basis to do camera work or post-production, as well as prominent Indigenous filmmaker Douglas Watkin, who was previously head of Indigenous content at Screen Queensland coming on board as co-Executive Producer.

“It’s been a huge team effort and a very ambitious project but the whole team is proud of the outcome and it’s been amazing to see the recognition from the US International Awards,” Associate Professor Fabb said.

LiveLab was also a finalist for the tear-jerking Day in the Life of a Carer which also picked up a silver trophy at the Deauville Green Awards after it was produced for Social Marketing @ Griffith in last year’s Industry Engagement course.

LiveLab student Ming Zhang
LiveLab student Ming Zhang

Narrated from the perspective of a young koala orphaned when its mother was hit by a car, we follow carer Trish LeeHong from Wildlife Rescue, Rehabilitation and Education Centre as she raises the barely-surviving joey until it is ready to be released back into the wild.

Director of the film, Ming Zhang is now a third-year student who actually thought he’d just be learning film theory when he applied to study at Griffith Film School.

“I’m pretty passionate about conservation of the planet and our wildlife so it was a cool opportunity to work with the Social Marketing @ Griffith team on this project,” he said.

“I know that if LiveLab feel strongly about pieces of work they’ll put them into different competitions but I didn’t have any expectations of winning.

“It’s really impressive we’ve been recognised on an international level for the work we’ve done here.”